American Marketer


4 ways to target luxury consumers with search marketing

March 27, 2018

Rae Steinbach Rae Steinbach


By Rae Steinbach

Luxury goods and services are not just premium items in and of themselves. They also convey that sense of elite status to those who purchase and consume them.

The unique nature of such offerings and the audience that consumes them should drive your marketing strategy every step of the way.

One of the main causes of that sense of luxury is price: Luxury is never cheap in the marketplace.

The moment a consumer starts to think that anybody can acquire a luxury item, it loses an aura of specialness.

Knowing your customer is the foundation of a successful engagement strategy and marketing campaign. Knowing how to target that customer takes a talented focus on what will catch that customer’s attention versus what will push them away.

1. AdWords and keywords
Keywords are essential for appearing in search engines and improving your visibility on the platforms that luxury consumers use.

For luxury items, employing brand names in critical areas on the AdWords platform – the main subject link and secondary lines below – is important. However, many other brands are doing it, too.

Luxury buyers respond to luxury pitches.

Move beyond the simple “Buy [insert brand name] Now!” that can cheapen your message.

Focus on words that evoke uniqueness, adventure, and exclusivity.

Skip the “Click Here” and go the route of “Discover,” “Explore” and “Acquire”.

At the same time, purveyors of luxury goods and services are not targeting people looking for a deal.

AdWords lets you upload negative keywords, too, which are words that will not show your ads to certain searches.

Online users typing in “cheap,” “inexpensive” or “bargain,” for instance, are not your ideal market.

Negative keywords might reduce the overall size of the advertising target, but will also increase the likelihood of quality leads clicking through.

2. Do not limit your search engine strategy
Just because Google has the major majority share of search volume does not mean that you should ignore other search engines.

If you have done your homework, you know that customers for luxury goods and services tend to be older and have higher incomes.

Check out Bing’s search audience demographics: A full third of its users make $100,000-plus a year and more than 70 percent are ages 35 and up. That is prime territory for the luxury market.

And do not forget the global market, either.

Baidu, the main search engine for the Chinese market, reaches hundreds of millions of consumers with its localized searches.

The Chinese market for luxury goods is expected to keep expanding well into the next decade, so consider using this platform in your luxury digital marketing strategy.

3. Income targeting on AdWords
AdWords offers several great features to tailor your advertising strategy.

Disposable income is a given characteristic of the luxury buyer. AdWords lets you filter for your ads to appear to demographic groups by income levels.

By limiting the appearance to specific income levels, you increase the exposure to searchers more likely to buy your goods and services based on your own pricing structure.

Google’s AdWords offer the ability to create a custom profile that matches your target audience. You can narrow the search window by income, location, gender, education and more.

Plus, you can run similar but separate campaigns for the purpose of A/B testing what works best.

For example, limiting one campaign to college-educated women versus all women to gather even more data for your marketing analysis.

4. Paid traffic, marketing and remarketing
According to Google, the majority of consumers within the luxury market performs their product and services research online. At the same time, these buyers tend to make their purchases in bricks-and-mortar stores.

For luxury brands, search should be viewed as an advertising strategy that then turns online browsers from cold or warm leads into a converted sale in stores.

An excellent way to nurture and convert online leads is through remarketing.

When potential client visits your Web site, track their viewing habits. Then, as they continue to search, deliver new, tailored ads to their search pages.

Google makes it easy to create remarket lists.

DO NOT FORGET to deliver your product and service in a new way.

Keeping it fresh while front and center for your potential buyers encourages them to make the final step of purchasing.

Rae Steinbach is a freelance editor for Y Media Labs, New York. Reach her at